As I watch the health of the church in the 21st century, I am encouraged to see the following:
1. Outreach. More newsletters, seminars, national conventions, books, and magazine articles are focusing on outreach. This ingredient is essential for effective evangelism because, quite simply, churches that do not focus on outreach do not grow. Look at how a church spends its resources (dollars, staff time, facilities, committees, members' activities, etc.), and you can quickly identify the church's priorities. Over time, the natural tendency is for a church to spend an increasing amount of its resources on self-serving and self-centered activity. But doing so is the "kiss of death." Growing congregations practice "corporate tithing," which means they invest approximately 10 percent of their personnel, time, and money on reaching people in their own ministry area. When this happens, and the resources are invested wisely, God gives the increase.
2. Contextualization. Congregations that are effectively ...1